1998 Jaguar XK8

The Highlights

・Sound example of the model.
・Luxurious and comfortable driving experience.
・Fast-appreciating ‘modern classic’.
・Excellent service history.

The Background

The Jaguar XK8 is a grand tourer launched by Jaguar Cars in 1996; the car was the first generation of a new XK series. The XK8 used the new 4.0-litre 32-valve Jaguar AJ-V8 engine, and was available as a two-door coupé or a two-door convertible. With styling undoubtedly inspired by the Jaguar E-type, the XK8 set out to blend modernity with heritage.  

Although slightly less powerful than the outgoing 5.3-litre V12 engine used in the car’s predecessor, the XJS, the AJ-V8 weighed much less and helped the XK8 achieve a significant total weight saving over the heavy XJS.  

On its launch, the car was rapturously received by the press. The engine and gearbox were top of the class, as were the handling, quietness and price. The build quality of the XK8 was much higher than in previous models, thanks largely to the Ford influence – Ford took over Jaguar Cars in 1989. 

Both the two-door coupé and two-door convertible came with an all-leather interior, burl walnut trim, and side airbags. The interior was available in two trims, classic and sport. The classic trim was a more luxurious option and featured heavy use of leather. Jeremy Clarkson, on a Top Gear test-drive, likened the interior of the original XK8 to sitting inside Blenheim Palace.

The XK8 continued largely unchanged until the launch of its replacement in 2006. Later cars got 4.2 V8 engines and tweaked styling but, unlike many of its rivals, there is little difference between the early and late cars.

Between 1996 and 2005 Jaguar built 90,064 XKs, of which 19,748 were XK8 coupés.

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The History

R 407 MEH was first registered in January 1998, and the vendor is only the third owner, having purchased the car in late 2018. For most of its life the car has been serviced at Jaguar main dealerships, as reflected in the service book stamps. 

Since acquiring the car, the vendor has had a good deal of work done to keep the car running at its best, with a service bill in March 2019 totalling £1400 and another from April 2020 that cost £1962. This work was done at renowned specialist The Jaguar Workshop in Ealing. 

The vendor has reluctantly decided to sell the car because his two children are now too big for the small rear seats – the car is very much a 2+2.   

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The Paperwork

The car comes with its original Driver’s Handbook and service book, and the service history records main-dealer services right up to 60,000 miles. The car also comes with recent receipts totalling more than £3000, as outlined above. 

The car has an MoT certificate that expires on 27 November 2021. 

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The Exterior

While the car’s Antigua Blue metallic paint looks good from a distance, closer inspection reveals that the paintwork and bodywork show some signs of the car’s age. There is a slight dent in the offside front wing and a few other small dings. Both rear wings have some rust, and there is also some rust above the rear number plate. The offside sill also shows some rust on the underside. 

The front of the car has some scratches, and there are scratches on the boot lid and the front wing. The roof shows some evidence of damage to the paint lacquer, and the surrounds of both the windscreen and rear screen are deteriorating. 

All four wheels are in very good condition for a car that has lived in London in recent years, with the only minor kerb damage being on the rear nearside wheel. The front nearside wheel shows some evidence of corrosion. The tyres are Pirelli 245/75 ZR 18s and all have a reasonable amount of wear left in them.   

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The Interior

For a 23-year-old car, the interior is generally in very good condition. The seats have only a modest patina, although there is some minor damage to the passenger seat bolster. The rear seats also look very good, with only minor evidence of use. 

The walnut dash is in excellent condition, and all the dials, switches and instruments look good and work as they should. The radio – with CD-changer in the boot – works as it should.  

The oatmeal carpets are slightly grubby but have been protected by overmats.

The roof lining sagged shortly after the vendor acquired the car and while he has effected a temporary fix, this is an issue that a new owner might wish to address. 

Both door panels are in excellent condition, with no marks or repairs. 

The boot is generally in a clean and tidy condition, and under the floor is a ‘space-saver’ spare wheel with a sound tyre.

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The Mechanicals

The car starts readily and has a healthy engine note. It seems to drive very well, with no obvious handling issues. The vendor intends to replace the battery before sale, as he has not used the car much in recent months and has experienced occasional flat-battery issues.

Under the bonnet, the engine, while not pristine, appears to be in good order. 

All the electrics appear to work as they should – a real plus, as the XK8 has something of a reputation for electrical issues. 

The car is supplied with two sets of keys.

The vendor also informs us that since we saw it, a new battery with a warranty has been fitted, which will pass on to the new owner. 

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The Appeal 

The XK8 was well-received on its launch and continues to have a reputation as a quick, luxurious and stylish grand tourer. Currently seen as an affordable classic, the XK8’s looks have aged well and values are starting to rise as good cars become harder to find. There is a strong owners’ club scene and good specialist and parts support.    

By no means a ‘concours’ example of the XK8, R 407 MEH is nevertheless a sound, usable car that has been well cared-for throughout its life. While it runs well and has been regularly serviced, the car’s exterior shows some signs of its age, but many of these are minor issues that a new owner could readily address. The colour scheme is a good choice and the metallic blue suits the car’s sleek lines. 

The comfortable and smart interior contributes to the driving experience in an XK8 and this car is generally very good, with the temporary fix to the roof lining being the only real negative.

The car should give a new owner many years of lively and enjoyable motoring. 

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Please see our FAQ's here and our Terms & Conditions here

Please see our FAQ's here and our Terms & Conditions here

Vehicle specification
  • Year 1998
  • Make Jaguar
  • Model XK8
  • Colour Blue
  • Odometer 88,929 Miles
  • Engine size 3996
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location NOT STATED
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
16 bids
  • Sm•••• £5,200 14/09/21
  • Vi•••• £5,100 14/09/21
  • Vi•••• £5,000 13/09/21
  • ch•••• £4,600 13/09/21
  • Vi•••• £4,300 13/09/21
  • ch•••• £4,000 13/09/21
  • La•••• £3,550 13/09/21
  • ch•••• £3,200 13/09/21
  • Vi•••• £2,800 13/09/21
  • ca•••• £2,500 13/09/21

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